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Big Cedar Schoolhouse is 100 years old

Annual Navajo taco feed fund-raiser scheduled for Sept. 13

The Big Cedar Schoolhouse is pictured above.

Credit: Contributed photos / Kris Perry
The Big Cedar Schoolhouse is pictured above.


Contributed Photo/ Kris Perry

Former students (top photo) ladies (L-R) Jeanne Brown and Phyllis Lyons; men (L-R) Elbert Hendren, Phil Reed, Darrell Lyons and Tom Reed.

BIG CEDAR — The Big Cedar Schoolhouse is 100 years old this year! It’s all spiffed up for its centennial and the Navajo Taco Feed fund-raiser which will be held there (Red Fir and Big Cedar Roads — south intersection) on Saturday, Sept.  13, from 5:30-8 p.m. 

 There will be the famous Navajo Tacos – both dinner and dessert, drinks and entertainment – all for a nominal fee. There will also be a raffle for the following items: firewood, boot planter, books, finger scarves, beaded jewelry, horseshoe art and possibly more. The drawing will be held at 7 p.m. Meal and raffle tickets may be purchased at the event. The Reed brothers and Phyllis will perform.

This centennial celebration will include the honoring of some of the actual students who attended the schoolhouse and are still in the area. Many will be present at this year’s Navajo Taco Feed. Kris Perry coordinated meetings with a number of former students and conducted recorded interviews of their school days reminiscences so that they may be preserved for posterity. These recordings will be featured in the schoolhouse during the taco feed and the interior will include a display of old schoolhouse desks and memorabilia.

The schoolhouse originally stood across the street from its current location.  Many years ago it was moved, by rolling it over logs (according to Lewis Ulmer – whose mother attended the schoolhouse ), and then building a new foundation for it.  More interesting tidbits about the schoolhouse can be learned at the taco feed.

 This year is also very special because the schoolhouse has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in Idaho County. This is quite an honor, as there are no other schools on the register. There are other schoolhouses that qualify, but the Big Cedar Schoolhouse is the best maintained and currently in use, thanks to the Big Cedar Homemakers club. The Homemakers raise money every year for the schoolhouse and maintain and improve it with those funds. 

This National Registry designation will not prevent the Homemakers from taking care of the building as they always have, but it will recognize their efforts in preserving the school. A few of the sites already in the registry are: Umpqua Bank in Kooskia; First Indian Presbyterian Church; Fenn Ranger Station; Blue Fox Theater; and Lochsa Historical Ranger Station.  


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